Former UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks spoke to MMAJunkie about having not gotten a rubber match with Robbie Lawler to try to regain the title, and in the process, he kind of blamed you. Yes, you.
After Lawler won the title in a close decision last December, UFC President Dana White had floated the idea of a third fight between the two being Lawler’s first defense. Rory MacDonald ended up getting the nod, while White was shocked when fans reacted negatively to him pushing the rubber match idea on Twitter. With no clear top contender deserving the next shot after Lawler beat MacDonald, Carlos Condit got the nod.
With Hendricks on the outside looking in, he blamed those fans. “It is what it is. As long as my body’s healthy, I’m going to fight. It’s not even so much the UFC’s fault. It’s also the fans; whenever they do a polling of the fans, they might want something different.”
From there, Hendricks also went off on losing the decision t Lawler in December while mixing that in with his lack of a rematch. “It just sucks, because I get injured (after winning the title at UFC 171), I come back, [Lawler] fights [Jake Ellenberger] and [Matt Brown], and you’re the No. 1 guy—c’mon. I fight, I think I win. I lose, for some crazy reason, right? Then all of a sudden I fight somebody, he goes and fights somebody, and instead of him sitting there and saying, ‘You’re the No. 1 contender,’ the fear of losing the belt is what’s keeping him from fighting me.”
For now, he’s looking at playing the hand he’s been dealt. “I don’t care that I fight [Lawler] again, because realistically, how do you outstrike somebody 2-1 after the fourth round and lose the fight? It’s the same scenario as [the Georges St-Pierre fight].” It’s not really clear what he means about out-striking Lawler two to on “after the fourth round.” According to FightMetric, Hendricks landed 23 strikes to Lawler’s 19 in round four, and was up 102 to 74 over the first four rounds combined, both of which are far from a 2:1 margin. Both numbers are misleading, as well, since Lawler was landing the more damaging/effective strikes, which have scoring priority in the Unified Rules.
Hendricks fights Tyron Woodley October 3rd (a week from Saturday) at UFC 192.